More employers are outsourcing pieces of their business to sources in cyberspace, a process called “crowdsourcing.” This allows you to cut costs and tap into millions more brains than you could fit around a conference table.
Example: A two-man Chicago T-shirt company solicited designs from thousands of Internet users and asked them to vote on which to manufacture. Outsourcing the design process helped the company grow its annual revenue to $15 million.
Similarly, large companies are turning to web users to help them solve problems. For example, a web site called InnoCentive allows big companies to post their research problems. Companies promise a reward—often worth tens of thousands of dollars—in exchange for the best answer from the web world.
The benefit to the company: Crowdsourcing is cost-effective because companies pay only for problems that are solved, rather than big salaries for hit-or-miss R&D projects.
Tip: Be careful not to share too much company info with these outside “problem solvers.”